How would you like a career in nutrition that combines food science, statistics, psychology, and nutrition with recycling residual organic food wastes? University of California, Davis, Extension studies department, in the Sacramento regional area offers a certificate program in consumer testing for online learners. The courses and certificate programs are open to anyone. You don’t need a degree or to be matriculated at UC Davis for a degree to take the extended studies courses or attend the conferences.
The program prepares you for a career in consumer testing methods, applications, and analysis so you can apply for a job with the government, with corporations, or you could apply for jobs where you’d work for suppliers of consumer testing services. In the courses, you would learn primary sensory evaluation methods and how to analyze data as well as discern which data is important and relevant.
One idea is to understand the significant applications of sensory science and consumer testing in the business decision-making process. Sensory science and consumer testing focuses on a critical area of expertise for the research and development of departments of corporations or suppliers that test food.
Some companies are outsourced by corporations just to test consumer products from food to gadgets. The UC Davis program leads to a certificate in Applied Sensory Science and Consumer Testing. You also can join the Sensory Science Certificate Student Program group on Linkedin.. Sensory science and consumer testing focuses on a critical area of expertise for the research and development of departments of corporations or suppliers that test food.
Some companies are outsourced by corporations just to test consumer products from food to gadgets. The UC Davis program leads to a certificate in Applied Sensory Science and Consumer Testing. You also can join the Sensory Science Certificate Student Program group on Linkedin.
New Uses of Organic Residuals Conference at UC Davis
How would you like to learn what you can do with food waste that’s turned into fuel? This upcoming conference brings together people who work with organic residuals, such as food waste, industry professionals, regulators, researchers, and others to identify the greatest ecological uses for food wastes, biosolids, manure, green wastes, and similar organic residuals.
At this conference, you’ll discover options that provide local sources of fuels and/or fertilizers, help restore soils, ensure food safety, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect public health, and ecosystems.
How would you like to learn about all the organic residuals you can turn into a project, the regulatory permit process, and find out about conflicting objectives among government agencies? This conference is sponsored by the U.S. EPA Region 9, the California Dept. of Resources, Recycling and Recovery, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Western United Dairymen, Sustainable Conservation, UC Davis, the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, and the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District.
UC Davis Extension has negotiated a discounted rate for this event at the Citizen Hotel, 929 J Street, Sacramento, CA, which is in walking distance of the Convention Center. For details, call (916) 492-4446. Enroll by July 31 and save. There will be two meetings, on Sept. 14 and 15, 2010. The convention is at the Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J Street. The convention fee ($150.) includes meals, refreshments, a social, and a field trip. Enroll in section 102HSD590.
How to Use Nanotechnology in Food
There’s an excellent article published today, July 26, 2010, “Nanotechnology in Food: What’s the Big Idea?” in the publication online, Food Navigator.com, by Caroline Scott-Thomas. The big questions consumers are asking is how safe is nanotechnology used on food?
You don’t hear much yet in the media on nanotechnology for foods. Four years ago, the Sacramento Bee ran an article on nanotechnology in foods, Nanotechnology, which has been noted at the SourceWatch site. A UK study revealed that two hundred food manufacturing companies are already working on ways to insert nanotechnology into foods. No more details were given on why this is being done, nor how it would improve the marketability or shelf life of those foods.  . The Nanotechnology Innovation Summit conference is coming up this December, 2010. Check out the NNI Nanotechnology Innovation Showcase that’s forthcoming.
At IFT’s nanoscience conference last week, talk focused on nanotechnology in foods. If consumers don’t want GMO’s, why would they want nanotechnology surrounding food? After all, you have a lot of research into nanoparticles and their relation to Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases. See the August 25, 2009 article, Can sun lotion cause Alzheimers? | GDS Publishing.
Basically scientists are trying to find out whether the nanoparticles in sunscreen could be a cause behind brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They don’t know yet. But a team from the Biomedical Sciences Institute in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, which is part of a worldwide project called NeuroNano, that involves scientists at Dublin, Cork and Edinburgh universities, are investigating whether human-engineered nanoparticles, such as those found in sunscreen, could trigger such degenerative illnesses.
You have a problem with consumer fears related to tampering with food that nature designed. And if consumer’s are worried about radiated produce, genetically modified vegetables, they’re going to be even more anxious about manufacturers putting nanoparticles in foods and “tampering with nature.”
Nanotechnology is going to be lumped together with the genetic modification of food crops. So far, no one is touting the benefits of nanotechnology in foods to the public.
The purpose of GMOs was to follow the money, to make a profit for mass food producers. What did it do for consumer concerns?
Will nanotechnology in foods benefit consumers or simply make money for manufacturers?
The result is silence by manufacturers and food producers on the use of nanotechnology for foods. But science will find a way to show food growers how to make more money on larger scales while spending less.
Now, it’s at the debate stage. Consumers want safety. Corporations want consumers involved. Researchers want funds to research safety. But who is supplying the funds for research? Industry? Or consumers? Scientists are reaching for the potential of nanotechnology. If you’ve just earned a degree in chemistry, chances are your studies included a lot about nanotechnology and its potential and future uses.
Some of you will use your biochemistry backgrounds to enter the field of nutrition or maybe focus on careers in energy and new uses of organic residuals. Maybe you’ll attend the conference on organic residuals in this area. Or maybe you’ll attend the nanotechnology conferences instead. It’s about better living through organic produce or better living through chemistry. Which side will you take? Or both in moderation?
Here’s a task for you: Set up a register of nanomaterials used in the food industry and make that register available to everyone. Check out the website of the Nanotechnology – Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. The project is run by the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Guess what nanotechnology-related products are listed on the global market? There are 93 manufacturer-identified food or food-related products, mostly in the packaging category. How do those nanoparticles taste? Who’s funding the research, the nanotech industry, the manufacturers, or objective third parties interested in food safety for consumers? Follow the money.
Helpful Resources: Are Attention-Grabbing Food Labels Easier to Remember?
Also helpful are the articles, Ageing food factories suffer electrical problems, and Study seeks attention-grabbing nutrition labels from FoodNavigator.com. A new study has concluded that nutrition labels best attract attention if they are double-sized, monochrome, and appear in the same spot on food packaging.
Also see the article, New ‘healthier’ oils for bakery, snacks and packaged foods from BakeryAndSnacks.com. Made from canola and sunflower seeds, the oils are said to have a ‘unique’ combination of high oleic and low linolenic fatty acids that delivers the benefits without oil performance or food taste.
Think about it as a consumer, what makes you think canola and sunflower seeds made into oil is healthier than olive oil, rice bran oil, grapeseed oil, or sesame seed oil? If you look closely, the oils selected may cost less rather than being the healthiest choices of oils. But it’s your choice what oils you use. In processed foods, it’s the manufacturer’s choice what is thought to deliver benefits.
Are manufacturers too worried about taste versus health benefits in the long run? Or are certain oils cheaper than other oils when it comes to health benefits? Do your own research on oils of choice.